A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n



``(a) Evaluations.--
``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary is authorized to reserve not more than 0.50 percent of the amount appropriated to carry out each program authorized under this Act--
``(A) to carry out comprehensive evaluations of categorical programs and demonstration projects, and studies of program effectiveness, under this Act, and the administrative impact of such programs on schools and local educational agencies in accordance with subsection (b);
``(B) to evaluate the aggregate short- and long-term effects and cost efficiencies across Federal programs under this Act and related Federal preschool, elementary and secondary programs under other Federal law; and
``(C) to strengthen the usefulness of grant recipient evaluations for continuous program progress through improving the quality, timeliness, efficiency, and utilization of program information on program performance.
``(2) Special rule.--
``(A) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any program under title I.
``(B) If funds are made available under any program assisted under this Act (other than a program under title I) for evaluation activities, then the Secretary shall reserve no additional funds pursuant to the authority in subsection (a)(1) to evaluate such program, but shall coordinate the evaluation of such program with the national evaluation described in subsection (b).
``(b) National Evaluations.--
``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall use the funds made available under subsection (a) to carry out--
``(A) independent studies of categorical and demonstration programs under this Act and the administrative impact of such programs on schools and local educational agencies, that are coordinated with research supported through the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, using rigorous methodological designs and techniques, including longitudinal designs, control groups, and random assignment, as appropriate, to determine--
``(i) the success of such programs in meeting the measurable goals and objectives, through appropriate targeting, quality services, and efficient administration, and in contributing to achieving the National Education Goals, with a priority on assessing program impact on student performance;
``(ii) the short- and long-term effects of program participation on program participants, as appropriate;
``(iii) the cost and efficiency of such programs;
``(iv) to the extent feasible, the cost of serving all students eligible to be served under such programs;
``(v) specific intervention strategies and implementation of such strategies that, based on theory, research and evaluation, offer the promise of improved achievement of program objectives;
``(vi) promising means of identifying and disseminating effective management and educational practices;
``(vii) the effect of such programs on school and local educational agencies' administrative responsibilities and structure, including the use of local and State resources, with particular attention to schools and agencies serving a high concentration of disadvantaged students; and
``(viii) the effect of Federal categorical programs at the elementary and secondary levels on the proliferation of State categorical education aid programs and regulations, including an evaluation of the State regulations that are developed in response to Federal education laws;
``(B) in collaboration with the national assessment conducted pursuant to section 1601, a comprehensive evaluation of how the Federal Government has assisted the States to reform their educational systems through the various education laws enacted during the 103d Congress, which evaluation shall--
``(i) encompass the changes made in Federal programs pursuant to the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 as well as in any other law enacted during the 103d Congress that amended a Federal program assisting preschool, elementary, or secondary education;
``(ii) encompass new initiatives such as initiatives under the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, and be coordinated with evaluations of such Acts;
``(iii) include a comprehensive review of the programs developed under the Acts described in clauses (i) and (ii) to determine such programs' overall effect on--
``(I) the readiness of children for schooling;
``(II) the improvement in educational attainment of students in elementary and secondary education; and
``(III) the improvement in skills needed by students to obtain employment or pursue further education upon completion of secondary school or further education;
``(iv) include a comprehensive review of the programs under the Acts described in clauses (i) and (ii) to determine such programs' overall effect--
``(I) on school reform efforts undertaken by States;
``(II) on efforts by States to adopt educational standards to improve schooling for all children, to align their curricula, teacher training, and assessments with such standards, and to bring flexibility to the rules governing how education is to be provided; and
``(III) on student populations that have been the traditional beneficiaries of Federal assistance in order to determine whether such population's educational attainment has been improved as a result of such programs;
``(v) evaluate how the National Assessment Governing Board, the Advisory Council on Education Statistics, the National Education Goals Panel, and the National Education Statistics and Improvement Council (and any other Federal board established to analyze, address, or approve education standards and assessments) coordinate, interact, or duplicate efforts to assist the States in reforming the educational systems of States; and
``(vi) include a review of the programs under the Acts described in clauses (i) and (ii) in such detail as the Secretary deems appropriate, and may involve cooperation with other Federal departments and agencies in order to incorporate evaluations and recommendations of such departments and agencies; and
``(C) a study of the waivers granted under section 14401, which study shall include--
``(i) data on the total number of waiver requests that were granted and the total number of such requests that were denied, disaggregated by the statutory or regulatory requirement for which the waivers were requested; and
``(ii) an analysis of the effect of waivers on categorical program requirements and other flexibility provisions in this Act, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, and the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, on improvement in educational achievement of participating students and on school and local educational agency administrative responsibilities, structure, and resources based on an appropriate sample of State educational agencies, local educational agencies, schools, and tribes receiving waivers.
``(D) a study of the waivers provided under section 1114 to support schoolwide programs which shall include--
``(i) the extent to which schoolwide programs are meeting the intent and purposes of any program for which provisions were waived; and
``(ii) the extent to which the needs of all students are being served by such programs particularly students who would be eligible for assistance under any provisions waived.
``(2) Independent panel.--The Secretary shall appoint an independent panel to review the plan for the evaluation described in paragraph (1), to advise the Secretary on such evaluation's progress, and to comment, if the panel so wishes, on the final report described in paragraph (3).
``(3) Report.--The Secretary shall submit a final report on the evaluation described in this subsection by January 1, 1998, to the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate.
``(c) Recipient Evaluation and Quality Assurance Improvement.--The Secretary is authorized to provide guidance, technical assistance, and model programs to recipients of assistance under this Act to strengthen information for quality assurance and performance information feedback at State and local levels. Such guidance and assistance shall promote the development, measurement and reporting of valid, reliable, timely and consistent performance indicators within a program in order to promote continuous program improvement. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to establish a national data system.